Written by Nic Fraraccio
The Harding men’s and women’s track teams began their indoor season Jan. 13 at the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville, then hit the road again the next week to Pittsburg, Kansas, to compete at the Rumble in the Jungle Invitational on Jan. 20. Through those two meets, Harding has posted multiple provisionals.
Senior Dakarai Bush, the 2022 Great American Conference (GAC) Championship MVP, posted two provisionals in the Kansas invitational hosted by Pittsburg State University, where Harding placed second. Bush registered a time of 48.23 seconds in the 400-meter dash and 7.99 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles. His efforts on and off the track have continued to impress track and field head coach Don Hood.
“I’ve never seen anybody work as hard not just at practice, but outside of practice to be the best he can be,” Hood said.
Bush said he will use his MVP award as motivation for the rest of his track career.
“Instead of just being a national champion, maybe I can be ranked in the world one day,” Bush said.
The Bisons have also broken multiple school records through the first two meets. Freshman Yves Bilong broke the men’s triple jump record in Kansas, winning the event with a jump of 15.39 meters.
Junior Tad Kirby broke the indoor 200-meter dash record with a time of 22.00 seconds. Kirby beat the previous record by .08 seconds.
Two members of the Lady Bisons track team also posted school records in Kansas. Junior Mariah Miller broke her own record in the triple jump with a mark of 11.64 meters. Freshman Cella Nguema broke the indoor 60-meter hurdle record, posting a time of 9.17 seconds in the event.
As the outdoor season looms, the Bisons have athletes to look out for in the 2023 season.
Senior Sierra White looks to continue her success in the pole vault category. White performed in the national meet for both indoor and outdoor track last season, placing seventh in the indoor meet to earn the 2022 All-American honor.
White said she would love to be recognized as an All-American once again in the 2023 season. She is currently ranked 13th in the nation for the Division II pole vault. White also said hitting the 14-foot mark is another big goal for her this season.
Despite losing multiple All-American performers due to graduation, White said she believes the team will continue to strive because of their strong community bond.
“The track team has done their best to feel more like a community,” White said. “Coach tries his best to get all the events practicing at the same time so that we can have that community and connectivity during practices.”
White and the rest of Harding’s track and field players will look to continue their success in Kansas this Saturday at the Wendy’s Pittsburg State Invitational.